Advertisement
Advertisement

Anselmo Moreno Ready To Join Panama's Elite Stars

By Jake Donovan

Many boxing fans recognize Anselmo Moreno as among the best bantamweights in the world. The problem he faces thus far, however, is that not many fans outside of his native Panama would recognize him if they saw him in the street. 

The long-reigning bantamweight titlist gets an overdue public profile upgrade this weekend, when he takes on former two-division champion Vic Darchinyan. The bout is perfectly placed as the co-feature to the hotly anticipated rematch to the Showtime Bantamweight finals between Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko.

Both bouts air on Showtime, live from the Honda Center in Anaheim (9PM ET/PT). 

The evening marks a series of firsts for Moreno (31-1-1, 11KO), whose own bantamweight reign began in May 2008 with a unanimous decision on the road against Wladimir Sidirenko. When he steps into the ring to face Darchinyan, he will be making his stateside debut, his first appearance on Showtime and also fighting under the Golden Boy Promotions banner for the first time since signing with the California-based company earlier this summer.

Each of the aforementioned scenarios is essential in increasing his visibility among the boxing public. While the nation of Panama doesn’t boast as rich of a sports history as other Hispanic nations, the guys at the top make for some mighty large shoes to fill.

Chief among them is Roberto Duran, the greatest fighter in Panama boxing history, and quite frankly one of the best of all time in general. Whereas Duran quickly became a global superstar and can’t walk 10 feet without being mobbed for autographs, Moreno probably couldn’t get himself arrested outside of Panama at the moment. 

“People recognize me when I'm out running and they want to stop me and take a picture with me,” Moreno says of his popularity in his homeland. “They stop me in the supermarket and want to meet me.  I know I wouldn't be recognized walking down the street in Los Angeles now, so that's what I'm hoping will change after a few more fights in the States." 

The road to respectability begins with Darchinyan, a regular face on Showtime who has proven to be an integral part of the current shape of the bantamweight division. 

The former flyweight and super flyweight king looked to be on the way out after struggling in a 2009 points loss to Agbeko. However, a strong showing – albeit in a narrow defeat – against Mares late last year and a virtual shutout of Yonnhy Perez in their tournament consolation bout earlier this year has put Darchinyan right back in the thick of things. 

While it’s hard to discount Darchinyan’s recent run, there are those who take issue with his receiving the opportunity when Moreno was willing to participate in the four-man tournament but was instead forced to take in the action as a spectator. Even more disappointing for the Panamanian was the fallout of a planned HBO-televised showdown with Nonito Donaire, who instead went to battle with Top Rank before resolving all issues later in the year. 

None of that did a damn thing for Moreno, who returned home to his native Panama to defeat former flyweight titlist Lorenzo Parra this past June. The bout marked his eighth successful title defense and his 25th consecutive win dating back to 2002. 

Having long ago earned his place as one of the division’s best, Moreno is now in search of fame. 

"I've had eight title defenses, but I needed a name like Vic Darchinyan to put my name out there on the map. I'm very happy to be with Golden Boy Promotions now and my mindset is all about Dec. 3 and coming out victorious. I know after I win I will want to challenge the other winner to unify the titles. Why not fight Abner Mares after this fight, or Agbeko? I want to unify all the titles at 118.”

It’s only natural for Moreno to shoot for the stars, considering the footsteps he’s forced to follow. Aside from the shadow cast by Duran, he also has to measure up to his own father-in-law, Hall of Fame former two-time lightweight champion Ismael Laguna. The one sports figure whose popularity Moreno hopes to one day match has nothing to do with boxing, as baseball great Mariano Rivera is perhaps the nation’s most successful athlete of all-time 

“He worked hard to get where he is in America and now I'm beginning my journey to hopefully get there too,” Moreno says. “My time is coming to be in the same place.  He's viewed as a hero here." 

Moreno is a long way off, but at just 26 years old still has time to build. A win over Darchinyan would be a great first step towards bridging that gap.

“We're preparing ourselves 100 percent so that on Dec. 3, it's going to be my night and that everyone will leave pleased with my performance. We are prepared and we have watched Vic Darchinyan. We are going to do everything to counter him and make him feel uncomfortable.”

By night’s end, he hopes that boxing fans around the world will feel comfortable recognizing him as a fighter worth remembering.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by istmeno on 11-28-2011

[QUOTE=Pugly!;11484570]haven't got to his fights yet, but been looking at him on paper, nad i see where he has RAZOR thin decisions over cermeno. . . and one razor thin, and another close decision win over volodymyr sidorenko. . .…

Comment by bojangles1987 on 11-28-2011

[QUOTE=Pugly!;11484570]haven't got to his fights yet, but been looking at him on paper, nad i see where he has RAZOR thin decisions over cermeno. . . and one razor thin, and another close decision win over volodymyr sidorenko. . .…

Comment by Russian Crushin on 11-28-2011

Any body know the odds for this fight?

Comment by UglyPug on 11-28-2011

[QUOTE=bojangles1987;11484246]Moreno is too good a boxer though, and Darchinyan will too often fall into that trap of looking for the one big left hand, which I don't see Moreno ever getting caught seriously by. I was thinking Vic earlier, but…

Comment by UglyPug on 11-28-2011

[QUOTE=JakeNDaBox;11484196]It's a heck of a matchup, isn't it? Vic has become the proverbial cockroach. Was written off after the Donaire debacle, comes back a year later to destroy Mijares. Reverts to old habits against Agbeko and Mares... then comes back…

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (9)
Top Headlines Mares: Don't Rule Out Possibility of Cuellar Getting Knocked Out! Deontay Wilder's Handlers Reach Out To Alexander Ustinov Kosei Tanaka Stops Rene Patilano in Six Rounds in Nagoya, Japan Video: Shane Mosley Jr. Reflects on Win, The Future, More Tony Bellew: I'll Face That Bitch David Haye on That Joker Channel! Denis Shafikov, Joel Diaz Jr. To See Action on June 11 in El Monte Tony Bellew Gets Off The Deck, Brutal KO of Makabu For WBC Belt Video: David Avanesyan, Trainer Talk Win Over Shane Mosley Stephen Smith, Sean Dodd, Scott Fitzgerald All Victorious Video: Roberto Duran on Mosley Defeat To Avanesyan David Avanesyan Will Be Ringside To Scout Thurman vs. Porter Callum Smith Stays on Course For Title Shot, Get TKO in Six Ricky Burns Ready For Revenge on Crawford, Broner Showdown Video: Shane Mosley Talks About Loss To David Avanesyan David Price Returns in Style With Quick Knockout Victory Holyfield Believes Anthony Joshua Could Break Marciano's Record Bellew vs. Makabu LIVE Results From Goodison Park Frank Warren Questions Hearn's Position on Joshua vs. Haye James DeGale's Coach Confident: Badou Jack is Tailor-Made For Us Hearn: Eubank is Bigger UK Fight For Golovkin Than Saunders Golovkin's Coach: Only GGG Fight Brings Mayweather 100 Million! Bellew: I'll Fight That Bitch David Haye, He's Degrading Boxing! Photos: Ricky Burns Makes History, Blasts Di Rocco For WBA Belt Bellew vs. Makabu: Sean Dodd Looks To Enter The World Scene Viktor Postol Motivated By Underdog Role Against Crawford Arum: If Mayweather Wants Pacquiao, Let Him Come To Manila Haumono Saw Flaws, Believes He Will Chin Check Joseph Parker Glowacki Hopes To Get Usyk To Poland, Then Wants Lebedev Avanesyan Ends Shane Mosley, Secures Thurman-Porter Shot Vazquez Outpoints Bone, Eyes Future Clash With Adrien Broner Gabe Rosado Not Looking Past Gutierrez To Chavez Jr. Showdown Shane Mosley Jr. Edges Roberto Young With Majority Nod Bermane Stiverne Eager To Step in, Face Deontay Wilder Jonas Sultan Retains His RP Championship With KO in Five Rounds Photos: Verdejo, Diaz Open Workouts Before HUGE Bronx Crowd Roach: Floyd Mayweather Asked Me To Train Conor McGregor Krzysztof Wlodarczyk Beats Down Kai Kurzawa For TKO Win Ricky Burns Becomes Three Division Champion, Stops Di Rocco in 8 Nurse Pounds on Limond For TKO Win, Retains British Title WADA To Meet With AIBA, Shocking Allegations Over Drug Testing
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement